The report summarizes major findings about water quality in part of the upper Mississippi River basin that emerged from an assessment conducted from 1995 to 1998 by the NAWQA Program. Water quality is discussed in terms of local and regional issues and compared to conditions in the other 36 NAWQA study units assessed to date. Findings are also explained in the context of selected national benchmarks, such as those for drinking-water quality and the protection of aquatic organisms. Finally, this report includes information about the status of aquatic communities and the condition of instream habitat. Many topics covered in the report reflect concerns of officials of State and Federal agencies, water-resource managers, and members of stakeholders groups who provided advice and input during the assessment.
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